“Why did you move abroad” or “Why have you left Sicily?”

They are common questions since a while for me.
Being honest, back in that days I didn’t know why, I think it was for some reasons that anyway I haven’t thought about when in 2012 I first move to another Country.
I am from Messina, a city in Sicily, and I have spent there almost 26 years of my life. For about two decades I thought I would always live there, travelling was charming for me and I always wanted to go around, explore etc… but living somewhere else? Leave my family and my friends?! No way.

Then something happened,

I started to feel uncomfortable where I was, I started to be interested in things my friends cared less or not at all, and my need to explore became bigger, or simply I wanted to go deep in that experience. One day I found myself looking for temporary jobs or internships online in some website that was probably trusted at that time (I don’t remember which one, unfortunately) and a few weeks after I was having an interview for a summer job at the reception of a Hotel in Palma de Mallorca. Without saying a word to anyone, not even my parents. I went through the process, and yet I got the offer, it was real, I just had to buy my flight ticket and go. How excited, how happy I was and, believe me, I wasn’t worried about my parents reactions, in fact, they have seen me in that need, like a bird that needs to fly away, at least for a while, and they offer all their support.

There everything started. Spain was my first expat experience and I didn’t even know what expat meant back then, I haven’t defined myself as one until more recent time.

Let’s go back to the questions: Why did you move abroad? Why have you left Sicily?
I give you my answers of today, 9 year later…

I moved because I have studied languages and culture and I wanted to find out how it was in real life, I moved because I was curious, I left Sicily because I required better job opportunities.

But you know what? The truth, the real and only answer, is that I moved because I had to find myself

So, yes, before being a Sicilian girl in Rotterdam, I was a Sicilian girl in Mallorca. The 2 experiences were totally different and here I try to touch the relevant point that might be interesting for you.

How did I move to Palma de Mallorca – Spain 🡪 Internet was the key. Unfortunately I don’t remember which website I have used and to be honest I am quite sure I forgot the name the second after I have sent my application for the job because I was sure I would never get it. I was surprised instead, and yes, I move there because of a seasonal job in a 4* hotel as receptionist. I was googling here and there, and I noticed this request for an Italian speaker receptionist with good knowledge of Spanish and English for 4 months. Why not?! I’ve asked myself and so after a few months from that day I took my flight to Palma. It wasn’t a very well-paid job, I was sleeping at the same hotel I was working and sharing the room with other 4/5 people (depending on the month), it was a big room though, but for somebody that hasn’t ever gone to a hostel, need to share the room with strangers was a big step. Any way also the meals were included, of course not to the restaurant of the hotel but we had a kind of canteen. Of course, the fact I didn’t have to pay a renting or the meal (I did only if I wanted to) was a good compensation for the low salary.
The best part of the experience was that I could easily practice English and Spanish, I met people coming from everywhere (clients, some interns) and a lot of locals (colleagues) that have showed me the island as well as giving me a lot of info about Spanish culture, mentality etc… that I couldn’t know otherwise.
Also, at that time I started to learn about the tourism world, not only from the receptionist point of view but also from the other departments since everything is so connected that you must have a bit of knowledge of what all the others are doing too.
Interested in leaning the best steps to move to Spain? Check the video on my YouTube account ¨Moving to Spain¨

paesaggio di mare e barche
How did I move to Rotterdam – The Netherlands 🡪 well, you might remember I said in some interviews that I have moved to Rotterdam because of a guy. This guy was working with me at the Hotel in Palma and since we were in love and I felt I wanted to still be around Europe, I decide to move with him to his place. The moving was easy in practical terms since I didn’t need to look for a place, I needed a job instead and my Dutch was not existing at that time. The platform I used back in that time was Undutchables , a specific one for not Dutch speakers and not even too high level jobs, so basically is perfect for a start. I have started sent cv’s before moving, so I got an appointment for a job interview even before be there and the eventually I also got that job.
My first approach with the city was strange, I was curious and wanted to know more but was winter and cold, the boyfriend I have moved to Rotterdam for wasn’t really willing to show me that much around and at a certain point he moved back to Spain (can you believe it?!) so I start to sign myself in groups on Facebook about expats in Rotterdam and that was the best idea I have ever had. I have made friends that way, or at least people that wanted to spend time exploring the city, I have also moved to live with 2 of these people I have met in the groups when the guy move to Spain, and then we broke up.

Cittá di Rotterdam, gigantografia di una R
You are probably asking yourselves what is my point in telling toy all of this, well it is simple: Do it, take the risk, send that cv, follow the person you love if your heart says so, buy that flight ticket. Both time I have moved I got on my bank account a bit more than € 1,500, and I had no idea of what I could really expect, but you know what? I have been literally with an empty pocket some weeks, but I was enjoying my time as never before and those periods made me the expat that I am today, and I like it!
After few experiences in other cities back in Italy, I have decided to go back to Rotterdam, a place I can easily call home. I have a very good job, I bought my own apartment and I love the choice I took.
If you are interested in having some details more about the first steps to move to go to The Netherlands, check the video on YouTube ¨Moving to The Netherlands¨ and stay tuned for much more content about Expat Life